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Police clarify what happened in case with 59 police reports filed on harassment, with 'stalker' later beaten to death

Police clarify what happened in case with 59 police reports filed on harassment, with 'stalker' later beaten to death

File photo of officers from the Singapore Police Force. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The police on Monday (Oct 5) addressed questions about their alleged lack of action in relation to a case of repeated harassment by a man, that led to him being beaten up and later dying.

The two men involved in the assault - 24-year-old Ryan Xavier Tay Seet Choong and his stepfather Lawrence Lim Peck Beng, 59 - were sentenced on Tuesday to four years' and eight months' jail respectively.

The victim, 26-year-old Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues, sustained fractures and died from traumatic asphyxiation after the 20-minute assault.

Tay and Lim had contested their respective charges and claimed that the victim had stalked them persistently, and said they had made 59 police reports of harassment to no avail.

READ: Man and his stepfather get jail for beating alleged 'stalker' to death and aiding the assault respectively

After the case hit the news, members of the public asked what the police had done in relation to the 59 reports made. 

In reply to questions by CNA, the police said on Monday night that they wished to make clarifications on its response to the filed reports.

They confirmed that Tay and his family members had lodged more than 50 reports against the victim between February 2015 and July 2016.

Most of these were in the form of 999 calls, made whenever Mr Rodrigues turned up outside their Yishun flat.

"In most of these cases, Mr Rodrigues would knock on the door and ask to speak to Tay," said the police. "There was no evidence to show that Mr Rodrigues made any threats, damaged any property or assaulted Tay or members or his family."

They added that Tay's mother had approached her Member of Parliament for help over an incident where Mr Rodrigues allegedly pulled her shoulder and arm and asked her where Tay was.

The MP had made representations to the police on her behalf, and the police later updated her that they were investigating the incident, said their statement.

"In instances where the police encountered Mr Rodrigues in the neighbourhood, he was advised not to harass Tay and his family. In fact, when resources permitted, the police would remain in the neighbourhood and conduct patrols in case (he) returned," they added.

The police also said they advised Tay's family to file a magistrate's complaint if they wished to pursue the matter, and said Tay's mother visited the relevant registry in May 2015 "with the view of filing an application for a protection order on behalf of Tay, but eventually did not do so".

In January 2016, following their advice, Tay's family eventually lodged a magistrate's complaint against Mr Rodrigues, said the police.

"Arising from the magistrate’s complaint, the parties had been attending mediation since February 2016," they added. 

"During this period, Mr Rodrigues also attended psychological counselling with his private psychotherapist, and was subsequently referred to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for further assessment. He was due to follow up with the IMH’s Adult Neurodevelopment Clinic when the incident occurred."

At about 7.40pm on Jul 9, 2016, Mr Rodrigues went to Tay and Lim's flat, and Tay chased after the victim, who ran up the stairs.

When Lim caught up, the two offenders pinned Mr Rodrigues to the ground and Tay punched his head multiple times and pushed it forcefully to the ground, said the police.

When the police arrived, they found the victim lying motionless on the ground and he was pronounced dead at the scene, with cause of death determined as traumatic asphyxia with head injury.

Source: CNA/ll(ta)

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